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Archive for December, 2013

Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

William Adam of Blair Adam
2 August 1751 – 17 February 1839

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William Adam

William Adam of Blair Adam FRSE KC was a Scottish advocate, barrister, politician and judge. He served as Solicitor General for Scotland and as Lord Chief Commissioner of the Jury Court.

His political career was affected by his father’s periodic financial problems, as sometimes the family had substantial wealth and sometimes it was in difficulties, forcing Adam to concentrate his attention on his legal practice.

His second son was Admiral Sir Charles Adam.

William Adam was the only surviving son of Jean Ramsay and John Adam of Blairadam, architect and master mason to the Board of Ordnance in Scotland, of Maryburgh, Kinross. His uncle was the architect Robert Adam.

Born in Kinross-shire, he was educated at the High School in Edinburgh, Edinburgh University and Christ Church, Oxford. He joined Lincoln’s Inn in 1769, to qualify as an English barrister. He was admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1773 and was eventually called to the English bar in 1782.

Adam represented a number of constituencies in Parliament. He was MP for the rotten borough of Gatton 1774–1780. He represented Wigtown Burghs 1780–1784. He was a Treasury nominee for that seat, as a supporter of Lord North. He moved to another Scottish Burgh seat Elgin Burghs 1784–1790. In 1790–1794 he sat for Ross-shire. His last Parliamentary seat was Kincardineshire, which he represented from 1806 until he became a Judge in January 1812.

Adam took a very hard line on American issues in the early part of his political career. He was critical of his future political leader Lord North for being too conciliatory before the outbreak of fighting. However, after pursuing an independent course up to 25 November 1779 he then announced in the House of Commons that he was now going to support Lord North. After that he became a loyal friend and defender of North.

Adam particularly disliked the leading opposition figure Charles James Fox. At one stage they fought a duel. He also attacked Fox verbally in Parliament.

Adam was appointed to the minor political office of Treasurer of the Ordnance. He held this office twice, first between September 1780 and May 1782 and again April–December 1783.

On 17–18 February 1783, Adam spoke and voted against peace with the United States. After that, despite his past animosity to Charles James Fox, Adam advocated the Fox-North Coalition, as the only way to stop Lord North’s party becoming politically irrelevant.

Adam was active in gathering detailed information about the Scottish constituencies, to help his political associates.

Thereafter Adam was less involved in politics as he developed his career at the English bar. Through his friendship with the Prince of Wales he was appointed Solicitor General for Scotland (1802–1805) and then Attorney General to the Prince (1805–1806). From 1806–1815 he was Chancellor of the Duchy of Cornwall, another office in the gift of the Prince.

Adam was Lord Lieutenant of Kinross-shire from 1802 until his death. He became a friend of Sir Walter Scott. In 1812, he published Vitruvius Scoticus, a collection of his grandfather William Adam’s architectural projects, which the elder William had first initiated in 1727.

During the Regency of the Prince of Wales, Adam received judicial office in Scotland. Between 1814–1819 he was a Baron of the Scottish Court of Exchequer. Adam became a member of the Privy Council on 17 March 1815. He became Lord Chief Commissioner of the Scottish jury court from 1815 until his death.

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A Trolling We Will Go Omnibus:The Early Years Not only do I write Regency and Romance, but I also have delved into Fantasy.

The Trolling series, (the first three are in print) is the story of a man, Humphrey. We meet him as he has left youth and become a man with a man’s responsibilities.

We follow him in a series of stories that encompass the stages of life. We see him when he starts his family, when he has older sons and the father son dynamic is tested.

We see him when his children begin to marry and have children, and at the end of his life when those he has loved, and those who were his friends proceed him over the threshold into death.

All this while he serves a kingdom troubled by monsters. Troubles that he and his friends will learn to deal with and rectify.

Here are the first three books together as one longer novel.

A Trolling We Will Go, Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee and Trolling’s Pass and Present.

Available in a variety of formats.

For $8.99 you can get this fantasy adventure.

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The stories of Humphrey and Gwendolyn. Published separately in: A Trolling we Will Go, Trolling Down to Old Mah Wee and Trollings Pass and Present.

These are the tales of how a simple Woodcutter and an overly educated girl help save the kingdom without a king from an ancient evil. Long forgotten is the way to fight the Trolls.

Beasts that breed faster than rabbits it seems, and when they decide to migrate to the lands of humans, their seeming invulnerability spell doom for all in the kingdom of Torahn. Not only Torahn but all the human kingdoms that border the great mountains that divide the continent.

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Sir Thomas Brisbane
23 July 1773 – 27 January 1860

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Sir Thomas Brisbane

Major-General Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 1st Baronet, GCH, GCB, FRS, FRSE was Governor of New South Wales (1821–25), as recommended by the Duke of Wellington, with whom he had seen military service.

A keen astronomer, he built Australia’s first observatory and encouraged scientific and agricultural training.

Brisbane was born at Brisbane House in Noddsdale, near Largs in Ayrshire, Scotland, the son of Sir Thomas Brisbane and Dame Eleanora Brisbane. He was educated in astronomy and mathematics at the University of Edinburgh. He joined the British Army the 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot in 1789 and had a distinguished career in Flanders, the West Indies, Spain and North America. He served under the Duke of Wellington, and in 1813 he was promoted to Major-General. He saw much action during the Peninsular War, including leading a brigade in the 3rd Division that broke through at the Battle of Vitoria.

He continued as a brigade commander in the War of 1812, where in 1814 he led a brigade at the Battle of Plattsburgh, which Brisbane claimed they could have won if they had been allowed to launch a full infantry attack. For his services in the Peninsula, Brisbane received the Army Gold Cross with one clasp for the battles of Vitoria, the Pyrenees, Nivelle, Orthez, and Toulouse; and the silver war medal with one clasp for the Nive.

In November 1819 he married Anna Maria Hay.

In 1821, on the recommendation of Wellington, Brisbane was appointed Governor of New South Wales, a post he held until 1825. Brisbane took over the government in December 1821, and at once proceeded to carry out some of the reforms recommended in the report of John Thomas Bigge. While Governor he tackled the many problems of a rapidly growing and expanding colony.

He worked to improve the land grants system and to reform the currency. Brisbane’s keen interest in science led him to accept the invitation to become the first President of the Philosophical Society of Australasia that later became the Royal Society of New South Wales, the oldest learned institution in the Southern Hemisphere. He also set up the first agricultural training college in New South Wales and was the first patron of the New South Wales Agricultural Society. He conducted experiments in growing tobacco, cotton, coffee and New Zealand flax in the colony.

However, Brisbane did not always receive loyal support from his administrative officers, and in particular from Frederick Goulburn, the colonial secretary. A reference to Brisbane’s dispatch to Earl Bathurst dated 14 May 1825 shows that Bigge’s recommendations had been carefully considered, and that many improvements had been made. Brisbane did not limit his attention to Bigge’s report. Early in April 1822 he discovered with some surprise the ease with which grants of land had hitherto been obtained. He immediately introduced a new system under which every grant had the stipulation that for every 100 acres (400,000 m2) granted the grantee would maintain free of expense to the crown one convict labourer. He also encouraged agriculture on government land, streamlined granting of tickets of leave and pardons and introduced, in 1823, a system of calling for supplies by tender. When Dr. Robert Wardell and William Wentworth brought out their paper the Australian in 1824, Brisbane tried the experiment of allowing full latitude of the freedom of the press.

In 1823 Brisbane sent Lieutenant John Oxley to find a new site for convicts who were repeat offenders. Oxley discovered a large river flowing into Moreton Bay. A year later, the first convicts arrived at Moreton Bay. Brisbane visited the settlement in December 1824. Oxley suggested that both the river and the settlement be named after Brisbane. The convict settlement was declared a town in 1834 and opened to free settlement in 1839.

Brisbane was doing useful work, but he could not escape the effects of the constant faction fights which also plagued previous governors. Consequently, charges of various kinds against Brisbane were sent to England. The worst of these, that he had connived at sending female convicts to Emu Plains for immoral purposes, was investigated by William Stewart, the lieutenant-governor, John Stephen, assistant judge, and the Rev. William Cowper, senior assistant-chaplain, and found to be without the slightest foundation. Brisbane discovered that Goulburn, the colonial secretary, had been withholding documents from him and answering some without reference to the governor, and in 1824 reported his conduct to Lord Bathurst. In reply, Bathurst recalled both the governor and the colonial secretary in dispatches dated 29 December 1824.

Brisbane left Sydney in December 1825 and returned to Scotland. In 1826 he added the name of Makdougall before Brisbane, and settled down to the life of a country gentleman and took interest in science, his estate, and his regiment. He was elected president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1832) in succession to Sir Walter Scott, and in 1836 he was created a baronet. In the same year he was offered the command of the troops stationed in Canada and two years later the chief command in India, but declined both. He continued his astronomical researches, and did valuable work.

He was the first patron of science in Australia, and as such was eulogised by Sir John Herschel when he presented Brisbane with the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1828. Oxford and Cambridge Universities gave him the honorary degree of DCL, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Societies of both London and Edinburgh. He was created KCB in 1814 and GCB in 1837.

Brisbane was a keen astronomer throughout his career. He had an observatory built at his ancestral home in 1808. From this observatory he was able to contribute to the advances in navigation which took place over the next hundred years. He took all his instruments and two astronomical assistants, Carl Ludwig Christian Rümker and James Dunlop to New South Wales with him, first properly equipped Australian observatory at Parramatta. While waiting for Macquarie to complete his final arrangements, interested himself in making astronomical observations. In 1822 he established an observatory at Parramatta west of Sydney. In 1828 he won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society. He published The Brisbane Catalogue of 7,385 stars of the Southern Hemisphere in 1835. The Observatory was used until 1855.

When Brisbane returned to Scotland he continued his studies and built a further observatory on his wife’s estate, Makerstoun, near Kelso in the Borders. He was a member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and received their Keith Prize in 1848. He was elected president in 1833 after the death of Sir Walter Scott, and in the following year acted as president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. He founded a gold medal for the encouragement of scientific research to be awarded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Brisbane died much respected and honoured on 27 January 1860 in Largs. His four children predeceased him. He is buried in the Brisbane Aisle Vault, which is in the small kirkyard next to Skelmorlie Aisle, Largs Old Kirk.

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Colonel Fitzwilliam’s Correspondence For your enjoyment, one of the Regency Romances I published.

It is available for sale and I hope that you will take the opportunity to order your copy.

For yourself or as a gift. It is now available in a variety of formats.

For just a few dollars this Regency Romance can be yours for your eReaders or physically in Trade Paperback.

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Witnessing his cousin marry for love and not money, as he felt destined to do, Colonel Fitzwilliam refused to himself to be jealous. He did not expect his acquaintance with the Bennet Clan to change that.    

Catherine Bennet, often called Kitty, had not given a great deal of thought to how her life might change with her sisters Elizabeth and Jane becoming wed to rich and connected men. Certainly meeting Darcy’s handsome cousin, a Colonel, did not affect her.   

 But one had to admit that the connections of the Bingleys and Darcys were quite advantageous. All sorts of men desired introductions now that she had such wealthy new brothers.    

Kitty knew that Lydia may have thought herself fortunate when she had married Wickham, the first Bennet daughter to wed. Kitty, though, knew that true fortune had come to her. She just wasn’t sure how best to apply herself.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie 1st Baron Wharncliffe
6 October 1776 – 19 December 1845

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James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie

Colonel James Archibald Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 1st Baron Wharncliffe PC, was a British soldier and politician. A grandson of Prime Minister John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, he held office under Sir Robert Peel as Lord Privy Seal between 1834 and 1835 and as Lord President of the Council between 1841 and 1845.

Stuart-Wortley was the son of Colonel James Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, son of John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute and his wife Mary Wortley-Montagu, Baroness Mountstuart in her own right, daughter of Edward Wortley Montagu and Lady Mary Pierrepont. His father had assumed the additional surname of Wortley as heir to his mother, taking later also that of Mackenzie (which his son in later life discarded) as heir to his great-uncle James Stuart-Mackenzie of Rosehaugh. Stuart-Wortley’s mother was Margaret, daughter of Lieutenant-General Sir David Cunynghame, 3rd Baronet. He was educated at Charterhouse School.

Stuart-Wortley was commissioned into the 48th Foot in 1790, transferred to the 7th Foot in 1791, and purchased a Captaincy in the 72nd Foot in 1793. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel in 1797 and became Colonel of the 12th Foot six months later. In 1797 he transferred to the Grenadier Guards, but resigned his commission in 1801.

Stuart-Wortley sat as Tory Member of Parliament for the rotten borough of Bossiney in Cornwall between 1797 and 1818, when he was returned for Yorkshire. His attitude on various questions became gradually more Liberal, and his support of Catholic emancipation lost him his seat in 1826. He was then raised to the peerage as Baron Wharncliffe, of Wortley in the County of York, a recognition both of his previous parliamentary activity and of his high position among the country gentlemen.

At first opposing the 1832 Reform Bill, he gradually came to see the undesirability of a popular conflict, and he separated himself from the Tories and took an important part in modifying the attitude of the peers and helping to pass the bill, though his attempts at amendment only resulted in his pleasing neither party. He became Lord Privy Seal in Sir Robert Peel’s short 1834 to 1835 ministry, and again joined him in 1841 as Lord President of the Council, a post he held until 1845. In 1834 he was sworn of the Privy Council.

In 1837 Lord Wharncliffe brought out an edition of the writings of his ancestress, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Lord Wharncliffe married Lady Elizabeth Caroline Mary Crichton, daughter of John Crichton, 1st Earl Erne, on 30 March 1799. They had four children:

  • John Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, 2nd Baron Wharncliffe
  • Hon. Charles Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie
  • Hon. James Archibald Stuart-Wortley, Solicitor-General
  • Hon. Caroline Jane Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, married on 30 August 1830 Hon. John Chetwynd-Talbot

Lord Wharncliffe died in December 1845, aged 69, and was succeeded in the barony by his eldest son, John, whose son Edward, 3rd Baron was created Earl of Wharncliffe in 1876. Lady Wharncliffe died in April 1856.

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Regency Personalities Series
In my attempts to provide us with the details of the Regency, today I continue with one of the many period notables.

Henry Proctor
1763 – 31 October 1822

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Henry Proctor

Procter was born in Ireland. His father, Richard Procter, was a surgeon in the British Army.

Henry Procter began his military career at the age of 18 as an ensign in the 43rd Regiment of Foot in April 1781. He served as a lieutenant in New York in the final months of the American War of Independence. His promotion was slow, probably indicating a lack of means, since commissions were usually obtained by purchase. Procter married in Ireland in 1792, the year he became a captain. He was promoted to major three years later, and October 1800 became a lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st battalion of the 41st Regiment of Foot.

Procter joined his new regiment in Lower Canada in 1802. He served in Canada for the next ten years. Inspecting officers, including Major General Isaac Brock, noted that Procter’s regiment was “very sharp”, indicating a good standard of drill and discipline, and that this was due to Procter’s “indefatigable industry”.

When the war began in June 1812, the 41st were stationed in Upper Canada. Procter was sent to Amherstburg near the westernmost part of the Province, to relieve the commandant of Fort Malden and defend the fort against a possible American assault. He fought several skirmishes, which helped isolate the American post at Fort Detroit and contributed to its capture by General Brock. When Brock departed, Procter was left in command on the Detroit frontier. He was soon faced with an attack by American General William Henry Harrison, who intended to expel the British from Michigan.

Procter won a resounding victory over an American brigade commanded by Brigadier-General James Winchester at the Battle of Frenchtown. His surprise attack overwhelmed the Americans and forced Winchester to surrender.

Following his victory, he learned that General Harrison’s main army was coming to Winchester’s support. Procter had only enough carts to transport his own severely wounded, and in his haste to retreat, he left 68 severely wounded American prisoners behind with only a small guard of Canadian militiamen. That night, Procter’s Indian allies murdered the wounded prisoners in what became known as the Massacre of the River Raisin. This gave American troops a new battle-cry: “Remember the Raisin!”

In February 1813, Procter was promoted to brigadier general by Sir George Prévost, the Governor General of Canada. A few months later, he was made a major general.

In April and May 1813, Procter besieged Harrison at Fort Meigs, Ohio. His artillery pounded the fort for days but the muddy ground inside the fort absorbed most of the cannon balls. On 5 May 1813, at the Battle of the Miami Rapids, Procter and the Indians inflicted a devastating defeat on Brigadier-General Green Clay’s brigade of Kentucky militia, who were trying to reinforce the garrison.

A sortie from the fort by Harrison’s command was also turned back. Many American prisoners were taken, and 38 wounded men who had been captured were moved to the disused Fort Miami. Once again, some of the wounded prisoners were massacred by Indians who had arrived too late to take part in the battle. The Shawnee chief Tecumseh reviled Procter for his failure to prevent the killings. The siege ultimately ended in failure, as did the subsequent Battle of Fort Stephenson.

On 20 June, Procter’s command was recognised as the “Right Division of the Army of Upper Canada”. However, he received very few reinforcements and his “division” consisted essentially of the 41st Foot only, with whatever militia could be gathered for any operation and unreliable numbers of Native Americans.

Following an American naval victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, Procter’s supply lines were cut, and he was forced to retreat from Detroit and Amherstburg towards Burlington Heights at the western end of Lake Ontario, to obtain supplies. Tecumseh and his warriors were forced to accompany Procter as he retreated.

Procter’s retreat was slow and poorly organised, and the Americans under Harrison caught up with him near Moraviantown. By now, Procter’s troops were exhausted and starving on half-rations. At the Battle of the Thames, the 41st fired a single ineffectual volley before breaking. About 250 fled and the remainder (under 600) surrendered, leaving their Indian allies to fight alone. Tecumseh and Roundhead were killed and their forces soundly defeated.

Proctor claimed he had attempted to rally his troops before he galloped off himself, but this was generally disbelieved. He admitted the conduct of the 41st Foot “was not upon this unfortunate occasion, such as I have on every other witnessed with pride and satisfaction …”.

Having rallied some men at the Grand River, Procter recommended that there was no need to abandon Burlington Heights. However, his division was disbanded, his remaining men merged into the “Centre Division”, and Procter himself was relieved of duty.

In December 1814, Procter was tried by court martial at Quebec for his conduct during the retreat and at the Battle of the Thames. He was found guilty of “deficiency in energy and judgement”, and suspended for six months without pay. The Prince Regent insisted that the findings and sentence be read to every regiment in the Army. Procter’s sentence was later reduced to a reprimand, but the conviction effectively ended his military service.

Procter returned to England in 1815, but was semi-retired. He died in 1822 at the age of 59 in Bath.

Procter married Elizabeth Cockburn in Kilkenny in Ireland, in 1792. They had one son and four daughters.

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